Mark Lloyd / Extreme Sailing Series

Turks on the rise

But SAP is on track for its first Extreme Sailing Series event victory

Saturday May 2nd 2015, Author: Nicola Dawson, Location: China

A patchy seven knot breeze blew across the Chinese racecourse today as the nine international Extreme 40s took to the water in the shadows of the Qingdao skyscrapers at the Extreme Sailing Series' Chinese stopover. The change in conditions mirrored a change in positions within the fleet, as Team Turx powered by Kaya Ropes stepped up.

Taking home a total of 65 points from a possible 80 in the eight races sailed, the Turkish team, co-skippered by Mitch Booth and Edhem Dirvana, today showed what it was capable of. Upping their game from their mid-fleet results of the past two events, the Turkish team was second most successfl today including two race wins – their most successful day on the water since they joined the Extreme Sailing Series in February – boosting them up the Qindgao leaderboard to fifth place. The only team to top the Turkish team’s score line was SAP Extreme Sailing Team, which added 68 points to its tally to remain overnight leader ahead of tomorrow’s final showdown and putting the team on course for its first event win.

Mitch Booth, the original founder of the Extreme Sailing Series, explained: “We thought it was going to be lighter breeze today, so our main tactic was to stay away from everyone as much as possible. Even if it was extra distance we had to sail, we just wanted that clean air, as it can get pretty busy at the top end of the course.”

Good starts, smart tactics and taking full advantage of the favoured right-hand side, the Turkish team maintained an impressive level of consistency throughout the day. Co-skipper Dirvana was visibly thrilled by the team’s performance. “It feels great, we love every minute of sailing here – these boats and being in this fleet is fantastic and to be out here in China representing our country and getting the crowds cheering for us, it’s wonderful. All our hard work is paying off,” he said.

An almost flawless performance by the Danish team led by Jes Gram-Hansen and Rasmus Køstner, that included three race wins, has now put them 23 points clear of second placed Gazprom Team Russia, currently on 123 points after a day of consistently chipping away at the top half of the pack.

Conversely The Wave, Muscat has dropped to third on 117 with Red Bull Extreme Sailing Team just one point behind in fourth.

Tomorrow the forecast is set to change again for the final day in China’s Olympic sailing city, with the wind shifting round to the north, and with gusts up to 28 knots predicted to pummel the fleet.


1st SAP Extreme Sailing Team (DEN) Jes Gram-Hansen, Rasmus Køstner, Thierry Douillard, Mads Emil Stephensen, Brad Farrand 146 points.
2nd Gazprom Team Russia (RUS) Igor Lisovenko, Phil Robertson, Garth Ellingham, Alexander Bozhko, Aleksey Kulakov 123 points.
3rd The Wave, Muscat (OMA) Leigh McMillan, Sarah Ayton, Pete Greenhalgh, Ed Smyth, Nasser Al Mashari 117 points.
4th Red Bull Sailing Team (AUT) Hans Peter Steinacher, Jason Waterhouse, Josh McKnight, Shaun Mason, Stewart Dodson 116 points.
5th Team Turx powered by Kaya Ropes (TUR) Edhem Dirvana, Mitch Booth, Selim Kakış, Pedro Andrade, Brock Callen 109 points.
6th Oman Air (OMA) Stevie Morrison, Nic Asher, Ted Hackney, Ed Powys, Ali Al Balashi 88 points.
7th Team Extreme Qingdao (CHN) Jonas Warrer, Cheng Ying Kit, Aaron Cooper, Liu Ming, Kong Chengcheng 75 points.
8th Lino Sonego Team Italia (ITA) Lorenzo Bressani, Enrico Zennaro, Andrea Tesei, Tom Buggy, Stefano Rizzi 72 points.
9th GAC Pindar (GBR) Seve Jarvin, Jack Macartney, Marcus Ashley-Jones, Tyson Lamond, James Wierzbowski 70 points.

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